A Travellerspoint blog

Hobknobbing with Aristocracy

sunny 28 °C

It may be the twenty-first century, but camels are still prime movers in the Rajasthani desert. For a change of pace we visited a camel research and breeding farm near Bikaner where we learned that these stately ‘ships’ have as much clout as a small tractor and need only a handful of dry grass and a few gallons of water to keep going for a week.
These majestic animals, from two days to twenty- two-years old, were just our latest brush with aristocracy on our trip. So far: we’ve dined with an English Lord in his manor house, had tea with a Tiller Girl, slept in a Maharajah’s palace, stayed in a Maharana’s mansion and loafed about in a Maharani’s home. And in Bikaner we dwelled in state at the former Prime Minister’s residence...
The enormous house is a musty old museum stuffed with the deceased politician’s memorabilia, including his 1939 Chevrolet, and our palatial suite was full of dusty antiques…
Tourists are thin on the ground at the moment, so this room, including breakfast and all taxes, cost just forty dollars a night. We were not alone at the mansion but, as with many of our chosen hotels, there were few other guests. However, we have now moved on to a town called Mandawa and our present abode takes the biscuit. We are the only guests at this luxurious, new, seventy-four room, resort in the desert on the outskirts of town…
Here we are – enjoying a romantic dinner for two in our cozy dining room built for a hundred….
We also have the sole use of a 200 seat convention hall, a massive lobby and a swimming pool. It’s a sunny 28 degrees here, so, if you’re at a loose end this weekend why not pop over and visit. We have rooms for 146 of our closest friends and we will pick up the tab for everything except the airfare.

With so many big stories hitting the headlines - riots in Egypt, cyclones in Australia and a massive winter storm in the US and Canada - we suspect that you may have missed a few gems from the Indian papers this week. Here’s a roundup: The Calcutta stadium for this month’s cricket world cup is so behind schedule that games have been moved to Bangalore. The head of India’s Commonwealth Games Committee has been arrested over the misappropriation of $1.8 Billion dollars – no wonder the games were a disaster. The previous communication minister has been arrested over his ‘gift’ of Billions of dollars worth of spectrum to his mates in the cellphone companies. Finally, fourteen men were electrified while riding atop an electric train. The explosion caused by their electrocution set fire to the train and to numerous trackside shops...Only in India!

Posted by Hawkson 20:03 Archived in India

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I almost convulsed when I saw the picture of you two as the only ones in that massive dining room.
There is something eerie about all this. Are you sure there isn't some natural disaster about to hit the country?

by R and B

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